The Post reported that some 40 US states were joining the effort alleging Facebook sought to squelch competition by acquiring the messaging applications – Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. — AFP WASHINGTON DC: Antitrust enforcers from a number of US states were preparing to file a lawsuit against Facebook on Dec 9 alleging anticompetitive conduct in the social giant's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, a source familiar with the matter said. An announcement was expected later in the day from New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her counterparts from other state antitrust enforcement agencies. The Washington Post reported earlier that the US Federal Trade Commission would be filing the case on behalf of the federal government, in the latest move ramping up antitrust pressure against Big Tech firms. The Post reported that some 40 states were joining the effort alleging Facebook sought to squelch competition by acquiring the messaging applications – Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The New York agency declined to comment. The FTC announced earlier this year it would review acquisitions made by five Big Tech firms over the past decade, opening the door to a wave of potential antitrust investigations. The consumer protection agency said it would review deals made by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet since 2010 amid growing complaints about tech platforms which have dominated key economic sectors. The US Justice Department, which shares antitrust enforcement with the FTC, in October sued Google parent Alphabet, accusing the Silicon Valley giant of maintaining an "illegal monopoly" in online search and advertising and opening the door to a potential breakup. Eleven US states joined that case. Scrutiny has been increasing for the large tech firms which have extended their dominance in recent years, including during the global pandemic as more people turn to Internet platforms for goods and services. Facebook had no immediate comment on the matter. – AFP
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